Coombe named to state Legion baseball board

Ely will have soon have a seat at the table when decisions are made about one of the state’s largest baseball programs.
Tom Coombe, who has coached American Legion baseball the last two decades, has been appointed to the state board of directors for American Legion baseball.
Coombe, editor of the Ely Echo and athletic director at Ely High School, was appointed Eighth District Director earlier this month.
He will join the state board at its meetings Mar. 23 in the Twin Cities.
Coombe will join a board that serves as the rule-making body for American Legion baseball in Minnesota, which has over 350 teams at the Senior and Junior levels.
The board also oversees state and district tournaments and decides which communities in the state will host major Legion baseball events - including state tournaments.
“I think it’s important for Ely to have a voice on this board,” said Coombe, who has coached Ely’s American Legion team since 1994. “Our association with Legion baseball goes back decades and I think this can only help us get additional tournaments to our community.”
This marks the first time in nearly 30 years that Ely has been represented on the state Legion committee. The late Matty Stukel served as State Legion Baseball Director for several years in the 1980s, while both Bill Palo and the late George Marsnik had stints as district director.
Minnesota has more American Legion baseball teams than all but one state in the nation, and the program has recently expanded to include a Junior division for players age 17 and under. Senior Legion teams are generally made up of high school baseball players and some college freshmen.
Coombe has guided Ely’s American Legion team to 11 Division II state tournament appearances, including four runner-up finishes, and his Legion teams have amassed 494 wins. In 2010, he was named Minnesota’s American Legion Baseball Coach of the Year.